Tuesday, July 15, 2008

M'sia's Petronas posts record profits

July 15, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIAN state energy firm Petronas on Tuesday announced a record profit of US$18.1 billion (S$24.42 billion) for 2007-08 and said it is still keen to develop Iran's Pars liquefied natural gas project.

'We have performed quite well. It is another historic set of numbers for Petronas Group,' president and chief executive Mr Mohamad Hassan Marican told reporters.

Petronas posted a net profit of US$12.9 billion last financial year, which was also an all-time record.

Mr Hassan said Petronas was still pursuing the US$2.0-billion LNG joint venture project in Iran but that it had not completed negotiations with the Iranian government due to rising costs.

'We can't come to a final decision because we need to make an assessment of the price, costs and the viability of the project,' he said.

Mr Hassan said Petronas had the resources to participate in the project on its own, after French energy giant Total dropped out of what was supposed to be a three-party development with the Iranian government.

'We are capable and able to undertake the project,' he said.

Iran has the world's second-largest reserves of natural gas.

The South Pars field in the Gulf has around 500 trillion cubic feet (14 trillion cubic metres) of gas, which represents about eight per cent of world reserves.

Petronas has a 20 per cent stake in the Pars LNG production company, which was set up in 2004 to build a liquefaction facility in Iran.

France's Total SA had a 30 per cent stake while the National Iranian Gas Export Company holds the remaining 50 per cent.

The French firm's chief Christophe de Margerie said earlier this month that it was too politically risky to invest in Iran at present. -- AFP

[This is an embarassing good news. M'sians are going to ask why no subsidy when Petronas making record profits.]

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